Intense bouts of cardiorespiratory and muscular stress at high, but sub-maximal levels best mirror the most dangerous tactical and mountain situations.
We call this type of fitness “work capacity.”
Everything comes together during an intense Work Capacity Effort:
- Aerobic base
- Sprint cardio
- Raw strength
- Strength endurance
- Mental Fitness
Work capacity efforts, both in the field and in the gym, can be single mode (one exercise i.e. sprinting) or multi-mode (2 or more exercises … i.e. lift/sprint/jump, repeat.)
Tactical Mission-Direct Work Capacity Event Examples:
- Sprint/Fireman’s Carry Injured Teammate 400m
- Sprint/Stop/Shoot, Sprint/Stop/Shoot firefight
- Extended, Forceful Suspect Apprehension and/or Hand to Hand Combat
- Emergency Fireline Construction/Sprint uphill to ridge safety for Wildland Firefighters
- Fire suppression in a super hot, very confined space for Urban Firefighters
Mountain Mission-Direct Work Capacity Event Examples:
- Carrying an injured climbing partner to safety
- Uphill sprinting/skinning to avoid worsening conditions
- Mountaineering Rescue
- Avalanche Rescue
Event Duration Variation
In terms of strength and conditioning program design, the duration of the work capacity events, and the modes/exercises deployed are important.
At MTI, we limit our work capacity event durations to 40 minutes. This is an artificial limit needed for structure and progression. In general, we feel fit athletes can burn hot for a max of 40 minutes, before pacing is required and the event changes from work capacity to endurance.
Programming various event durations below this 40-minute threshold is also important. Anecdotally, we’ve found programming all work capacity events for the same duration can create a “training scar” for athletes, which can affect performance when faced with shorter or longer events. For example, if we only program 10-minute work capacity events, we found our athletes don’t go hard enough when given a 5-minute event, and go too hard for a 30-minute event. Event duration variation helps prevent this.
Ultimate Work Capacity I deploys events of multiple durations …. 5 minute, 9 minute, 15 minute, 20 minute and 30-40 minute.
Modes which Transfer to the Mountain and Battlefield
All that matters is outside performance. On the fitness side, MTI aims to design programming which transfers to the mountain and battlefield.
In terms of work capacity, the “modes” or exercises, we chose for our events need to reflect the activities/challenges mountain and tactical athletes would likely face during the real thing. As a result, you’ll see an emphasis on sprinting/running, step ups, and other modes we feel transfer well in this cycle.
Ultimate Work Capacity I cycle brings together many of our most proven work capacity events for mountain and tactical athletes into a single, focused cycle, and is a response to athletes who express an interest in this type of plan.
This is a very intense, 6 day/week, 7-week training plan for a total of 42x training sessions (week 7 is an assessment/unload week) It is designed for fit athletes, who want to spend several weeks focused on training work capacity.
- Monday: Work Capacity (Run or Ruck 800m Repeats, Bodyweight work capacity)
- Tuesday: Work Capacity (Lift + Run/Step Ups), Chassis Integrity Grind
- Wednesday: Work Capacity (Single Mode), Step Up Intervals
- Thursday: Work Capacity (Lift + Run/Step Ups), Chassis Integrity Grind
- Friday: Work Capacity (Short, Lift + Burpees), Shuttle Sprints
- Saturday: Easy Distance Run
- Fully-Equipped functional fitness gym including barbells, bumper plates, plyo boxes, sandbags (40# women, 60# men), kettlebells/dumbbells.
- Track or course for a 1.5 mile ruck run or running assessment and 800m repeats.
- Parking lot, field, park, etc. for 25m shuttle sprints.
Can I get a peak at the training plan?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see a week’s work of training sessions from this training plan.
How can I be sure I’m fit enough for this plan?
This is an intense training plan, appropriate for fit athletes. Is it right for you? The way to test is to complete the Week’s worth of Sample Training under the Sample Training Tab.
I tried the sample training and got smoked. What should I do?
Option (1): continue with the plan, but take a day’s full rest between sessions for a week or two. Option (2) Start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Then come back to this plan.
I looked at the Sample Training and found many exercises I didn’t recognize…..?
Unfamiliar Exercises can be found HERE at our Exercise Library.
I’ve never done this type of training!
This will be quite an adventure for you!! It will take a couple weeks to understand our language, learn the exercises and follow the training session flow. Don’t get frustrated and quit. Be patient and consistent. It’ll come and open up a whole new world of training methodology for you.
I don’t have a sandbag. What can I substitute?
Nothing. Be resourceful and build a sandbag.
I’m in the military. Should I actually run during the ruck 1.5 mile assessment and 800m intervals.
Yes. Run with your ruck.
I’m female soldier. Should I still use a 45# ruck?
What does 40/60# mean?
The first number is female loading. The second is male loading. Same is true for reps … so 4/8x Pull Ups = 4x for women, 8x for men.
What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This programmed is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.
Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run/Ruck Calculator is listed as an exercise.
What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.
Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.